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06/15/2014

A View of Fuji

One of my biggest goals while in Japan is to climb Mt.Fuji. However, in the two whole months I have lived in Tokyo I hadn’t seen it. I climbed some of the highest mountains in Tokyo, hoping to see the big white giant, but it never happened. It was always too cloudy or too muggy to be visible. There was even a viewing platform on Mt.Ohirayama specifically made for viewing Mt.Fuji (see photo below). Yet I still could not see it. By the end of the second month, I made it my goal to see Mt.Fuji, even if it meant going all the way to its base. 

 

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Lucky for me, I didn’t have to travel that far to see its peak. On a cloudless Sunday I traveled to Kawaguchiko, a large lake at the base of Mt. Fuji. The train to Kawaguchiko was very cool. Unlike most trains, this train had comfy seats that all faced forward. It was perfect for viewing Fuji. After swerving in and out of mountain tunnels and riverside bridges, I saw my first view of Fuji. It’s peak was above the clouds. Perfectly white and absolutely breathtaking, my heart was pounding. It was so much bigger and more grand than I imagined. From the train, you could see farmers working in the rice fields, not even noticing the ginormous beauty lurking behind them. It was amazing. When arriving at Kawaguchiko, you could see the mountain top to bottom.  By the time I reached the start of my hike, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky blocking its view.

In order to get an even better view, my friend and I decided to climb Mt. Kachi Kachi. It was a fairly short and steep hike, but provided the best view of Fuji from the top. At the very peak, there was a spectacular panoramic of the lake and the mountain. Absolutely breathtaking. A note for the lazy travelers, there’s a cable car that goes to the top as well.  IMG_8717

Mt. Kachi Kachi has a very interesting story written on a sign at the top of the mountain. The whole story is fairly long and a bit gruesome, but a shorter more “kids friendly” version is posted on their website. A dog rabbit names Tanuki betrays a farming couple and as revenge, sends a rabbit to seek revenge. The rabbit sets his back on fire. This is why the mountain is called Kachi Kachi because it’s onomatopoeia for fire. A hilarious set of statues sits at the top of Kachi Kachi depicting the story.  IMG_8722

That day was one of my top ten best days in Japan. As much as I enjoy the city, I need my nature break. The raw beauty of Japan is just as amazing as its manmade features. Seeing Mt.Fuji was so humbling and so inspiring, I could see how the Japanese treasure it as one of, if not their best landmark of the country. If you ever come to Japan, you must see Mt.Fuji close up. None of my photos could ever do it justice on how big the mountain actually it. At the end of the day, my friend and I grabbed some My.Fuji Ice Cream (Vanilla on top and blue rose flavored at the bottom) and took the rapid train to Shinjuku back home. It was an absolutely magnificent day. 

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